The NYS HERO Act requires action by all employers – regardless of your size. Every employer in the State is required to have a HERO Act plan in place and, given the recent designation of COVID-19 as a covered illness, those plans need to be active at this time.
The State Labor Department has drafted a “model plan” for foodservice establishments that can easily be used to make a HERO Act plan for your business. In order to modify the model plan into a plan you can use for your business, you need to make a few changes to the model plan document:
Page 2, Responsibilities
- Insert the name of your business, the location of your work site(s), and the names of supervisory employees to enforce compliance with your plan
Page 3, Exposure Controls During a Designated Outbreak
Minimum Controls During an Outbreak – Physical Distancing
- Mark which of the possible actions to manage physical distancing will be used
Page 4 & 5, Exposure Controls During a Designated Outbreak
Advanced Controls During an Outbreak – Engineering Controls
- Review the possible actions that might be taken when the minimum controls will not provide sufficient protection for employees – indicate which of those actions will be used
Pages 5 & 6, Exposure Controls During a Designated Outbreak
Advanced Controls During an Outbreak – Administrative Controls
- Review the possible policies and rules that might be taken to prevent exposure – indicate which of those actions will be used
Page 6, Exposure Controls During a Designated Outbreak
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
- List any personal protection equipment that will be required for employees
Page 7, Training and Information During a Designated Outbreak
- Insert the name of the individual or the title of the position in the company responsible to inform employees of this plan and its requirements
Once all of these changes have been made to the model plan you now have a plan for a specific business. That plan needs to be:
- Shared in writing with all employees
- Explained verbally to all employees
- Post where employees can view it
In addition, because of the designation of COVID-19 as a covered illness by the State Health Commissioner, employers must inform their employees that the plan is currently in place and employers must implement their plans.
Hopefully this explanation will help you understand and comply with this new obligation under the law.